Four Mass. Residents Burned in Arson Scam

January 10, 2005

Four Massachusetts residents were arrested last week on federal charges relating to an arson fire set at a sports bar in North Reading in November of 2003.

United States Attorney Michael Sullivan; Essex County District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett; Colonel Thomas Robbins, Superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police; Mark Trouville, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration; Joseph Galasso, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation; and William Hoover, Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, announced the unsealing of a five-count indictment charging four individuals with Conspiracy, Arson, Conspiracy to Commit Extortion, Attempted Extortion, and Interstate Travel in Aid of Racketeering.

Named in the indictment are:

1) Arthur Gianelli, 47, of 420 Main Street, Lynnfield, Mass;
2) Dennis Albertelli, 52, of 151 Hudson Road, Stow, Mass;
3) Frank Iacaboni, 60, of 640 Union Street, Leominster, Mass; and
4) Deeb Homsi, 44, of 17 Marion Road, Arlington, Mass.

The indictment alleges that Gianelli and Albertelli operated an illegal gambling business and that Gianelli invested proceeds of the illegal gambling business in the development of a sports bar called “The Big Dog” located on Route 1 in Lynnfield. It is alleged that in order to conceal his ownership interest, Gianelli held the ownership through third parties.

According to the indictment, Gianelli, through threats and intimidation, sought controlling interest of the Canine Corporation which owned and operated The Big Dog. It is alleged that four defendants hired two individuals, Sean Slater and Michael McCormack to set fire to a second Big Dog sports bar located at 178 Main Street in North Reading, Mass., in an attempt to intimidate and financially injure shareholders in the Canine Corporation.

On Nov. 13, 2003, Slater, who had traveled to North Reading from New York, reportedly ignited a container of gasoline with a rag at the entry to Romeo’s Pizza, a second business housed in the same building as the Big Dog in North Reading. Slater and McCormack were arrested fleeing the scene of the arson by members of the Massachusetts State Police.

All four defendants were arrested on the charges and were to appear in court late last week before U.S. Magistrate Judge Charles Swartwood, III. If convicted, each of the defendants faces a maximum sentence of 5 years in prison on the Conspiracy charge; 20 years in prison on the Interstate Travel in Aid of Racketeering charge; a minimum mandatory sentence of 5 years and a maximum of 20 years on the Arson charge; 20 years in prison on the Conspiracy to Commit Extortion charge; and 20 years in prison on the Attempted Extortion charge. Additionally each count also carries a 3 year term of supervised release and fines up to $250,000.

Slater, 47, of Brooklyn, New York, and McCormack, 42, of Arlington, Mass., were charged in April, 2004 in an indictment for their reported roles in the arson fire set at the Big Dog in North Reading on Nov. 13, 2003. Those charges are still pending.

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